Enlightenment raises $41m for Fund I

The Washington, DC-area firm focuses on debt investments in the aerospace, defense and government sector. 

Enlightenment Capital has raised more than $41 million for its Enlightenment Capital Solutions Fund I, according to a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission last Friday.

Enlightenment is targeting $100 million for the fund, which the firm will use to make senior debt, mezzanine and minority equity investments in the aerospace, defense and government sector, firm co-founder Devin Talbott told Private Debt Investor.

Talbott — a former vice president at DE Shaw — founded Enlightenment in 2012 alongside Pierre Chao, a co-founder of  aerospace, defense and government sector due diligence firm Renaissance Strategic Advisors. The pair launched the firm to target investment opportunities created by the withdrawal of traditional lenders and banks from the mid-market loan business, which led to a supply/demand imbalance for capital. 

“The D&G [defense and government] part of our landscape was now viewed as out of favor thanks to the negative headlines of sequestration, political impact and budget cuts,” Talbott said.“There are a number of small to midsize companies that need capital and don’t have as much opportunity to access [it].”

In May, the firm announced that it had backed Opera Solutions, a predictive analytics company, as a strategic partner. Silver Lake Sumeru, Wipro Limited, Accel-KKR, Invus Financial Advisors, JGE Capital Management and Tola Capital had also invested in the company.

Enlightenment’s website also lists transportation logistics company REI and information systems company Vistronix as portfolio companies.